By: Allie Joy Hudson
5 min. read
A Time of Grief and Praise
Social media has looked pretty interesting this past week. I’ve seen countless posts about people struggling with COVID-19 – struggling with sickness, grief, anxiety, loneliness, depression, confusion, and financial insecurity. People are hurting. However, especially with the celebration of Easter this past week, I’ve also seen so many people talking about the hope and life that we have through Jesus and His resurrection. The presence of both overwhelming struggle and eternal joy, side by side, strikes me. This is what our lives look like as followers of Jesus. Just look at the weekend of Christ’s death. His followers experienced profound sorrow and indescribable joy in a matter of three days.
As we go before our Father, we can both rejoice and weep. He welcomes both. This reminds me of the Psalms. In many individual Psalms throughout the entire book, the writer, often David, pours himself out before God in an open, raw confession of thoughts and emotions. He writes, “I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; My eyes fail while I wait for my God .”
Throughout the course of this Psalm, Psalm 69, David goes back and forth between lamenting and turning to God. David brokenheartedly begs the Lord to intervene and then declares that He is worthy of praise. This is okay for us to do as well. God invites us to come before Him. He is our Creator, and He knows us intimately. He welcomes us to share with Him.
We Are Hurting
So right now, I want to do both. First, I want to acknowledge that many of us are afraid and lonely. Many of us are reaching out and grasping for things to be a salve to our groaning souls.
This is a dark, confusing, and scary time for the entire world. COVID-19 has affected many areas of our lives including our physical health, plans, mental health, finances, work, and relationships. People are isolated, and many have turned to porn to try to cope, but this only leaves us feeling more alone.
Many of us are asking God, “Lord, why are you allowing this to happen? So many are suffering. What are we going to do?”
Jesus in the Midst of COVID-19
There is freedom in knowing we are welcome to acknowledge to the Lord that we are not doing well. Like David, sometimes our eyes too fail us while we wait for God.
But then, we can lift up our eyes, to know that God is still in control. He is still good. His character is both perfect and unchanging. God is at work even when we do not understand.
Let’s take a minute to see what God is doing in the wake of COVID-19:
- In desperation, people are running to prayer:
“A European professor has found that throughout March, internet search queries for the keyword “prayer” and related terms such as “God” “skyrocketed” as the world went into lockdown due to the coronavirus epidemic . . . Google Trends data show that search queries for the term “prayer” doubled for every 80,000 new cases of the coronavirus in 75 countries, beginning in mid-March”(LifeSiteNews).
Prayer is a powerful resource, and people have been tapping into it all over the world.
- “Intentionality” is a word that comes to mind. Reconnecting with friends and family members, sewing masks for others, delivering care packages, socially distant worship services – it’s been amazing to see people step up and be creative in helping, encouraging, and loving others. Jesus told His disciples that the world would know we belong to Him by the way we love each other (John 13:35). The Church has such an opportunity to reflect Jesus right now!
- People have been reminded that human life is worthy. With so many sick and suffering from COVID-19, healthcare professionals and scientists have been working tirelessly to care for the sick and to find a cure. Human life is incredibly precious. May we remember this and keep in mind that people have inherent value, dignity, and worth that goes beyond the skin and puts our lust to shame.
Jesus is at work in all of these things. May we praise Him for that!
A Love that Knows Us
As I mentioned earlier, it was really meaningful to see the posts about COVID-19 beside posts about Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus being alive is what gives us hope and makes sense of all things. It means that our faith is not in vain.
Even with all of the good that Jesus is doing despite the chaos and heartbreak in the world right now, the fact of His resurrection is the ultimate good news.
Christ’s love is unlike any other.
It is a love that seeks each of us out personally and rescues us.
It is a love that knows who we are and all of the wrongs that we have done yet still unconditionally chooses us. Jesus died for us knowing all that we would do to hurt Him, but He still gave His life for us willingly.
In addition to taking on our sin, Jesus took on ultimate loneliness. His closest friends left Him. His own Father turned His face away from Him. On the cross, Jesus cried out in anguish, “‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?’” Of all the torment He had gone through that day, it was the loneliness that made Him cry out. He went through loneliness so that He could know us in our loneliness. That’s the gospel (good news) for the isolated, the lonely, and the unseen.
And may we never forget that Jesus rose from the grave and proclaimed His final authority over death and over sin. In Him, we can claim and know that victory too.
Lift Up Your Eyes
When you are struggling, tempted, and afraid, go before Jesus. Run to Him. Humble yourself and be honest with Him about the ways you are hurting and in need, especially in this new and overwhelming season of grappling with COVID-19. He cares. But then, lift up your eyes. Remind yourself of the ways He is at work, of all that He has done, and of the power of His resurrection that gives us power, freedom, and life. Hold to this truth and let Jesus give you hope and courage as you go throughout each day.
“Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you” (1 Samuel 12:24).
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Allie Joy Hudson is first and foremost a daughter of the King. She has worked with Proven Men for almost two years and serves as the Content Manager. Allie graduated from Liberty University with a B.A. in English and minors in Spanish and Psychology. She completed her Senior Honors Thesis on the presentation of postmodern sexuality in short fiction. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the viola, running, singing, and photography. Allie is passionate about her ever-growing C.S. Lewis collection, cultivating relationships, and proclaiming truth in the twisted arena of postmodern sexuality. Allie lives in Pennsylvania and is overjoyed to be married to the love of her life.